Thursday, October 30, 2014

As I've often said, "imitations iz a stoned groove!" And I mean it too. ESPECIALLY whether or not I be talking about some cheap knockoff of a hit moom pitcher, tee-vee show, rock 'n roll ideal, automobile design or even food product because not only are the imitations cheaper 'n a $1.98 whore, but sometimes they take on a life all their own even though their "creators" never woulda thunk it in a millyun years!

True, you can plunk down the full price for a box of Frosted Flakes or Twinkies, but for the same taste (sometimes even better!) and a whole lot less outta your wallet you can get the store brand version at the local supermarket! And not only that but you can feel satisfied that the illegal aliens who were shoveling this counterfeit Cap'n Crunch into boxes aren't making as much as some unionized oaf sitting on his butt all day, thus keeping the cost and prices down for many a penny pinching mongrel who can't give two whits about the poor 'n downtrodden! Yes, cheapness transcends all sorts of decency boundaries, but then again look at alla moolah you'll be able to spend on all of the important things in even more cheapo imitations!

Naturally, nowhere is the pleasure of zilch-dimensional crank outs better felt'n in the world of comics! It could be comic strips or better yet comic books, because at least in the book world the inferior copy ain't as prevalent as the strip because it ain't playin' on the same page! But as anyone who has read BINKY can tell ya it sure helps if a comic book is hidden away onna newsstand just waitin' for some nearsighted twelve-year-old pimplepuss gal to snatch it up thinking she's getting the latest issue of one of the Archie line of teenbo thrills, only to have her get home 'n she's still stupid enough to think that this is Archie only it ain't Archie but so what because it kinda looks like Archie even if the stories are about as coherent as your three-year-old nephew stringing a line of non sequiters worthy of your average street bum! I'll tell ya, it really does my heart good to know that such conniving tricksters are out there preying upon the pre-teen future fag hags of this land of ours!

That's undoubtedly why I really got a huge sickoid laugh outta the entire 1969-70 run of Marvel's PETER THE LITTLE PEST comics that I scarfed up a good five or so months back. Y'see, I actually paid good moolah for these if only because they were a stinkoid copy of the rill thing! Always on the lookout for a good ripoff, I figure that I couldn't do better'n snatch these fifties Atlas-era DENNIS THE MENACE swipes (originally wrangling under the names DEXTER THE DEMON and MELVIN THE MONSTER*) that were birthed from the fevered if cribbing imagination of Stan Lee** along with onetime Atlas mainstay Joe Maneely doing the art, and once again I was right onna moolah happier'n that gal who sent away for a breast enlarger and got a photo of a man's hand.

Like a distant fuzzy UHF station airing that series you've wanted to see for years or a liquid Jello that just didn't make it, these comics really underscore the basis of a half-there, derailed suburban slob upbringing done on the cheap end of the stick, and as you would have guessed by now BOY CAN I RELATE TO THESE BLATANT IMITATIONS EVEN THOUGH MY BETTER SENSE SHOULD HAVE ME THROWIN' 'EM ALL INNA INCINERATOR!!!

Originally appearing during those late-fifties days when Atlas seemed to be pumping out more titles per month than even DC, PETER is everything DENNIS THE MENACE was, only less. And I like it that way. You get the same befuddled midclass parents who never ever*** wallop their kid even after he's caught sodomizing the automobile exhaust system, and of course what DENNIS swipe would be complete without the dopey white dog and of course the nice fifties suburban setting! And although the Wilsons next door seem to be MIA (perhaps due to an episode that couldn't get past the Comics Code Authority because they got offed in a most gruesome if hilarious fashion) there are various demi-Joeys and Margarets to fill in the kiddie roster so desperately needed for quickie crankouts such as these.

But you certainly don't get the USDA meaty stuff and as you'd expect there's more'n a little paprika missing in the mix, just like BINKY was nothing but ARCHIE without the vermouth and you know it's true!

Of course that's the bee-you-tee of these cheap knockoffs which always came off as if the artists and writers just grabbed the superficial aspects of the item at hand and ran hog wild forgetting such things as the production, the dimension and the color that made the original such a boffo hit! 'n really, who needs stuff like that when you can just grab a whole load of bux with something that took half the time to create and'll fool just about any nutley out there who sees the Marvel logo onna front and thinks he's getting something of the same artistic and aesthetic quality as the latest X-MEN.

The jokes to be found in these sagas were obviously taken straight outta the same MINSTREL SHOW FAVORITES handbook that Lee probably got from some mid-fifties Johnson Smith ad that popped up in one of his own titles, while the art is clearly Hank Ketchum reduced a few notches keeping his basic SATURDAY EVENING POST style but looking more BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS in the long run.
 Of course taking all of the bad things about PETER and cramming 'em together adds up to the over funzie joy which I gotta admit suited a kiddoid such as myself who could tell an original from the imitation, but it sure didn't matter because it was a corny copy of the real thing but that somehow seemed appealing to me!

But man is this Peter a jackoff par excellence! A downright 'tardo if you ask me...I mean, where at least Dennis the Menace had a kinda/sorta redeeming quality about him even when he was zinging rocks at Margaret's hiney with his slingshot Peter comes off like such a pustule you'd hope somebody would disembowel him and throw his remains in a ditch! In fact may I say that he'd even a little irritating? The kid's disregard for anything on a moral plane has me thinkin' he just might be a DENNIS for the Nietzsche crowd but still there's hardly anything here that'll warm you up to this cretin who makes your average Irish kid as depicted by Thomas Nast look human.

To push the DENNIS connection up your colon even further these titles are filled with imitation daily panels right down to the amorphous shapes and senseless if happy childhood violence. Like in the Archie Comics SHRIMPY series of blatant PEANUTS imitations, the look might be there (at least if you squint your eyes a bit) but the soul and the feeling were certainly left ruminating somewhere outside with the rest of the garbage! Ya kinda get the feeling that maybe Lee was taunting Hank Ketchum with a "just try t'come 'n get me!" razz, but then again would it be worth getting raked over the copyright coals for something as zilchoid as this???

If ya can't get enough PETER (or PETEY as his title was known by the final ish of this short-lived revival) there's also the presence of "Little Pixie". She's even more vile'n Peter and once again totally without any shard of decency or values for that matter. You'll most certainly wanna bash that li'l tart's mug in whenever these stories make their way to your eye, maybe because she comes way too close to comfort to alla 'em girls you went to grade school with and I ain't kidding!

So displeasing is she that I get the feeling that when/if she grew up Pixie woulda turned out to have been Andrea Dworkin or any one of those uppity women's libber types who you see blabbin' it up incoherently whenever a microphone is shoved into their roly-poly pusses yet cry sniffles and boo-hoos when men beat 'em up (hey dames, yez s'posed to be "equal")! Real displeasing is she, though somehow I get the feeling that the youth of this world would be much better served by reading the likes of Peter and Pixie 'stead of the goony get-along characters they're being inundated with these days. After all, wouldn't you rather have your kid set fire to the school or smash out his bedroom windows instead of take a bullet for a gay politician?

Of course the real life punchline to this sordid saga came a good decade after PETER's brief revival. Y'see, in the early eighties with Marvel riding the crest of comic book popularity and branching out into various media areas unheard of even a few years earlier, the rights to the original DENNIS THE MENACE deal were acquired by the company and Dennis was a bonafeed member of the noted stable for a little over a year! I'm sure that the comic fan base was hoping that maybe the famed comic character would have crossed over into the Marvel Universe, not as an Avenger or anything along those lines but maybe doing a cameo in one of the hero titles (the closest thing we got to Dennis acknowledging his Marvel ties was when he went to Margaret's costume party dressed as Spider-Man), but I would have been satisfied if he met up with Peter and the two slugged it out for comic strip brat supremacy. And speaking of brats, I gotta see just how much Archie's own Ketchum steal PAT THE BRAT figures into all this...
*Look closely and you'll see where all of the "Peter"s were written in by a letterer who was still aping the Hank Ketchum style yet not quite in the same way the original Ketchum imitator had!

**Lee of course was also noted for his boffo NANCY swipe LITTLE LIZZIE, the beyond-belief ARCHIE carbon copy GEORGIE as well as the too close for caga HOMER THE HAPPY GHOST way back before he finally hit comic paydirt with THE FANTASTIC FOUR.

***I gotta admit that I like it better THIS way!:

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Yeah, as you can (and will) plainly see I've had yet another one-a-them snoozeroonies of a week here. Really, I must state repeatedly until you're blue in the face that if it weren't for the care packages that Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and a few other fiends out there send on scant occasion I dunno where I'd be music-wise. Not that there's much being created out there that makes me wanna run to the record shop with my hard-begged just anxious to buy the place out like I woulda loved to back when I was an impatient yet earnest enough teenbo, but then again has ANYTHING let alone rock 'n roll been the same since the early-eighties at the very latest????

For those of you who do care in that deep down 'n sensitive Phil Donahue sorta way I've been spinning a whole lotta old and well-traveled material o'er the past week. My tastes these days tend to run towards what I  (and Jymn Parrett) would call the metal electricity of the late-sixties punk rockers. Dunno if Jymn's and my definitions match up 100% sympatico (Jymn used that term to describe the ever-popular big time favorite IT'S ALL MEAT), but for me it can entail anything from the more obvious faves such as the Stooges and Thirteenth Floor Elevators to the early krautscapading of both Amon Duuls and Can along with various English "People's Rock" bands I get the feeling most of the people have never heard of let alone heard. Whatever you may care to conjure up in your pretty little mind that's pretty much where my musical parameters lie nowadays, and if you know of any interesting platters that I should be on the lookout for which fall within the bounds I've set for this week's dining and dancing pleasure please let me know (or keep 'em to yourself if you wanna be a big turd about it!).
Speaking of Jymn Parrett, if you're in the mood for something a little more exciting than foreskin cleaning you might want to check out the updated DENIM DELINQUENT site for some fresh material that's bound to take the starch outta your skivvies! New layout, new features and (now get this) a whole lotta tweeted photos etc.of your and my rock (and not so) fave raves, most of which I've never had the opportunity to see before! It'd do you good to check this 'un out and while you're at it write Jymn Parrett an email or letter telling him to hurry up with that DD compilation that might be a lost cause after all but who knows??? It's stuff like this site which revitalizes my faith in mankind and maybe even ladykind for that matter and the more people who stop in the better I always say!
HAVING A LACK OF ROCK 'N ROLL RELATED DREAMS THESE PAST FEW MONTHS, I really made up for the dearth this past Monday night! It started off rather non-rock-y actually, what with me meeting up with this gal I knew from high stool (kinda cute Eyetalian who would actually talk to me sometimes non-condescendingly at that) who was having an all-girl party which looked as if it was going to take place at my aunt's house! However, when I go into the basement (which was at my place!), I discover that the mid-seventies version of the Rolling Stones are having their own party in the knotty pine recreation room! Mick Jagger asks me if I could procure one of the female partygoers on the main floor to come down so the Stones could cut the soles of her feet up with sharp razors (!), and although I find it a rather strange request and shudder at the mere thought of it I do thusly.

Upstairs the girls just giggle and say "no thanks" which I relay to Jagger and Company, at which point they get violent and, as a way to relieve burning hostile anxieties brewing inside them, begin to attack me with fists, a variety of sharp knives and other weapons meant to do my flabby body a whole lotta harm!

Of the group, Jagger and Richards were the most violent, waiting to corner and gouge me with a voracious fury while Ron Wood was running a close second brandishing a particularly lethal-looking (and dirty) hunting knife that matched the bloodlust look on his mug. Strangely enough Bill Wyman was missing but get this, Charlie Watts was short and pudgy and looked more like Ian Stewart than the tall ape-like creature who has manned the Stones drum chair for all these years.

In case you'd like to know I fared well in my defense, grabbing handy items to ward the group off at every turn even when trapped between some old pieces of furniture or cobwebby basement corner. One thing I had to my advantage in surviving this onslaught is that sometimes the Stones would turn against each other, like when Jagger came after me only to be intercepted by Richards going after Mick before he would go after me...I knew there was bad blood between the two but this was ridiculous! And hey, since I arised that morn hearty and sound you could say that I won this battle with a buncha decadent rockstars whose idea of entertainment far exceeds anything you or I would dare conjure up!
And after a dream like that you now know why I like to drown myself in the sweet and soothing sounds of pure unadulterated cacophony! And here is but a smidgen of this week's share!

Neu!-'72 LIVE IN DUSSELDORF CD-r burn (originally on Captain Trip, Japan)

I'm really surprised that Bill sent me a burn of this necessary (if oft dismissed) Neu! release! The guy really shoulda known by now that I would have had this 'un in my collection and have reviewed said spinner in a number of places o'er the years, and if I must say it I must...Bill, I am disappointed in your lack of knowledge regarding my at times over ram-bunk-shuh krautrockain faith! Tsk!

But at least his li'l gift has given me a reason to play this 'un again and like, it ain't like I'm frothing at the mouth pissed about it. Not exactly "live", these rehearsal tapes feature the Neu!-cleus of Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger with onetime Kraftwerk bassist Eberhard Kranemann working out something that I assume was akin to the group's early live shows, and as far as transposing those motorific Dusseldorf sounds to something that could be performed in front of an audience goes I personally think the act succeeded und midt flying colors as vell. Noisy, careening guitar and a steady beat goes to show you that Neu! had just as much of a heavy duty respect for the Stooges as Kraftwerk did, and that's no bunk junk either, punk!
The Mekons-THE MEKONS STORY 1977-1982 CD (Buried Treasure Records, available via CD Baby)

Unlike many of you serioso punque aficionados I never was that much of a Mekons/Three Johns fan even though my inner sense tells me that maybe I should have been. Perhaps it was that knock of 'em in the pages of KICKS that soured any interest in 'em, but then again I was getting burned by a whole load of very late-seventies English imports and maybe I didn't wanna get stuck with yet another one for the local Record Exchange, and heaven knows they already were brimming full of the latest wares on the Fast Product label!

Sorry to disappoint alla ya, but I can dig this 'un in small doses sorta like I can dig those Messthetics samplers. Of course with those you don't always get to heard those group's sluggier moments like you do here. I'll bet its a good 'un for the diehard post-punk snoots amongst us, but if yer tastes do stretch into rockier terrain you'll probably stash this 'un in a box with the rest of your less favorite spins until you read the next Lester Bangs/Mekons mention on some long-forsaken website...I know I sure will!

More old radio drama courtesy B.S. himself, and they're even better'n the ones they play on Sirius XM because you get to hear all of the original ads! Mohr does it about as good as all those other Marlowes you've heard and seen, and listening to this tough guy celebrate his testosterone-riddled lifestyle beating up (and getting beaten) while fighting against the odds really does help restore my faith in a planet that has become pussified beyond belief.

Episode #1...Marlowe gets involved with the mean and violent son of this lovable-yet-dumb-foreigner who's running around with a local tough (of course I'm talking about the son running around with the badski, and fifth grade English class be damned!) while in #2 he 's hired by this milquetoast sexagenarian whose loving wife has split the premises but after awhile we all get the idea that something's really fishy and I do mean tuna! A better way to spend yer evenings'n watching CSI, and it has more bang per buck while yer at it!
THE SPOTNICKS CD-r burn (originally on President, France)

Gotta admit that as far as early sixties rock 'n roll group pangs may go, the Spotnicks are up there with Johnny and the Hurricanes, the Fendermen, the Rock-A-Teens, String-A-Longs and a whole slew of acts that epitomized the better aspects of teenage music frolics between the late-fifties and the arrival of the English Invasion only a few years later. After that well, you know what happened (the Spotnicks even grew their hair long 'n started covering Gordon Lightfoot!), and it wasn't exactly a pretty sight! But on this album the original group's in their prime doing that Euro-tinged instrumental rock that coulda had that weird dank Olde Worlde dinginess to it but in this case the sterility works! Boffo covers of everything from "Take Five" to "Telstar" done up like you'd think a buncha Swedes in spacesuits would do 'em, and of course the top notch "Orange Blossom Special" gets stuck inna mix for alla you who missed out on it the first time around!
Various Artists-BEAUTIFUL DEUCES WITHOUT PITY CD-r (this week's entry into the Bill Shute Conceptual Thrift Store vaults)

Snappy selection of hard-to-find goodies on this 'un ranging from the very first Mitch Ryder single (sure hadda long way t'go!) to a track by a Mr. Bear who I somehow don't think is Bob Richert of GULCHER fame to some rare bloozey jazz from Martha Davis and Spouse as well as one of a billion Peter and the Wolves that were roaming the forests of mid-six-oh local rock group realm. Bill even found it in his heart to slip on more of those Rodd Keith song-poem selections, but the man really outdid himself presenting a total of SIX versions of "Town Without Pity " done up by a buncha obscuros as well as the likes of Brian Setzer and James Chance.  It would be a fun thing if somebody was able to do the "plunderphonics" treatment with alla these, but don't hold my breath! Closing out the side is Booker Ervin doin' some of that bop unto free playing that might sound quaint to you but sure sounds total shape of jazz to come to these lobes!
Various Artists-WATERMELON RUBBERBAND WARRANT CD-r burn (see above)

Given the lack of fresh newies this go'round I figure hey, why not another Bill Shute burn even if I was planning on saving 'em for one-a-post if only to look not too beholden to the man. A good 'un too, starting off with some tasty enough soul from an Eddie Bo before some Mideastern gal does the local tabouli restaurant schtick with the wild music and gun shots to boot. Might come in hand when the jihad finally makes its way to your front door more sooner than later!

Australia's Ash are fairly good early-seventies hard rock but no Coloured Balls nohow! And yeah, it's always good hearing people like Jackie Vernon and Eddie Lawrence especially in these days when their kinda humor has gone down the turdly tunnel at the expense of a buncha scolds.

The rest is quite up t' notch, what with Chuck Carbo doing a pretty upbeat funkster and Smoke (who I assume are the Kim Fowley-produced band) cranking out some mildly pleasant late-sixties hard rock gunch. Art Neville and Wazir Afzal reprise the funk and Mideast motifs respectively while THAT Jim Henson does fine in his tribute to Spike Jones and a whole slew of fifties music-related comedy capers. And Wax Museum close it all out with more standard seventies hard rockism that ain't anything special, but stack it up against the current top ten and whoa!!!

A good 'un here Bill...dint get bored one iota and it kept me poppin' on all cylinders while it was at it. Almost makes up for the dearth of new and fresh rockscapading that's probably ne'er to make it to my ears!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA starring Ken Scott and Merry Anders! (Lippert, 1964)

Yikes! Bill sends me yet another mad heist flick in the tradition of DAYTON'S DEVILS which makes me wonder...does Bill want me to get involved with some sorta devious criminal plan to do a li'l robbin' himself, and this is his way of getting me interested? Can't believe it, unless Bill has his eye on the ATM machine around the corner and he wants me to yell "Chickee The Cop!" while he picks at it with a hairpin!

Of course that wouldn't make an exciting moving unless I did a nude scene in it 'r somethin', but I will say that RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA is a really good pull off that unbelievable heist kinda flick that kept me wide 'n awake, or was it the ten bottles of Dr. Pepper I just downed?

In this 'un, terminally unemployed skin-diver Bill Harper (failed leading man Ken Scott) works out what seems like the most perfect-o plan to rob a Catalina Island bank and get away with it by scuba-ing his way under a ferryboat and attaching loot to the the bottom of said ship which thus takes said moolah straight to land. Seems simple enough, but then again Harper's got quite a Herculean task ahead of him...first he reels a reluctant old friend into the scheme and along the way this cornpone-y Texan type who would be more in place on GREEN ACRES somehow wiggles his way into the plot. So does Harper's horny kid brother who just happens to have his eyes fixated on Harper's wife's nookie, and of course along the way the four of 'em are at each other's throats to the point where you think that the whole thing's gonna fall apart before it even starts but...

Well, let's just say that they at least proceed with their dastardly plans, and the way they work up to it really does keep my mind from wandering about like these mooms sometimes tend to do. In fact I was downright enthralled by the boffo early-sixties look 'n feel as well as the wobbly if strong enough plot, not to mention that MONDO CANE-inspired music that weaves in and out of the entire production.

The only thing that really bugged me about RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA was the fact that the juicy actual crime pull off part just goes by too fanabla fast for me. No teasing, fake outs or outright surprises are in store for you like they are in DAYTON'S DEVILS and yeah, ya already know that the bad boys are gonna get caught and the heisted loot splattered across the sea, but at least they shoulda strung everything out a whole lot more'n they actually did because if you blink you'll miss it. I almost did, even though I watched the last few minutes at least five times to let what actually happened digest in my brain.

But fortunately this is not the turkey film the dolts at the imdb make it out to be, and I gotta admit that even with the huge gaping holes in the plot and the whys and wherefores that'll pop into any conscious viewer's bean it's a fun one for sure. And if you doubt me just remember, it was only a few years from fun movies like this to Marlo Thomas in JENNY and YOU tell me which one was the real turdburger!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

As you can tell by the lack of meat being presented, this was a particularly Quinlan-esque week. Blame it on everything...the lack of new spinners to make their way to my door, the lack of new spinners that I'd actually wanna dish out a hefty amt. of moolah for, and (most of all) the lack of any real impetus or desire to crank out anything of which you'd particularly wanna call "special" this go 'round. Heck, if it weren't for the contributions of Paul McGarry and Bill Shute to the music kitty there wouldn't be hardly anything to this week's post, so if you gotta blame anyone, blame THEM...

But before you do, howzbout lending your eyeballs to these rather turdly reviews of a buncha platters that just might inspire you in some positive way, but knowing the kinda readers I have that would seem rather unlikely...

ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK; DEADBEAT AT DAWN CD (Asmodeus Productions, available through CD Baby)

The music really doesn't hold up that well w/o the full-on visuals creasing yr cones, but if you liked that particularly gruesome bloodbath of a film you just might like this ltd. ed. soundtrack album just as much. True it's got some pretty turdbally electronic casio crap that brings back most of the reasons as to why I loathe the eighties (and beyond), but then again a little bit of DEADBEAT's pulsating prance does suit me more than fine. And who knows, it just might be the soundtrack for your own carnage that's been cooking up in that diseased brain of yours. Decapitate some noggins and bite off a few fingers while this one spins in yr mind....
Mystic Braves-DESERT ISLAND CD-r burn (originally on Lollipop)

Well, I must admit that had I the choice this 'un'd not be one of my top pix for a "desert island disc", but it's hokay in itself. I must admit that these "sixties revivalist" types who made up a hefty part and parcel of eighties underground rock just ain't as excitement-inducing as they were thirty years back, but these Braves still put up a good psychedelic poppy sound on this brand spanking new release. Rather 1966 El Lay in feel, complete with a swirling Doors-y organ and cheesy/fun guitar lines. A few tracks here coulda made it onto PEBBLES VOL. 5 had this been around back then and who knows, if you still have your Keith Relf wig and pointy-toe shoes (as well as a three-piece suit you can still fit in) this just might be your album of the year!
The Ugly Beats-BRAND NEW DAY CD-r burn (originally on Get Hip)

I often wonder whatever happened to the old UGLY BEAT fanzine! That not-so-periodical read was one of my faves, but I suspect that it got washed away into the ocean of good rockism intentions by the wave of CONFLICT imitators that had come out in the meanwhile. It does seem fitting that this new "retro" garage band has named themselves after this mag o' yore, since these guys present the same sort of mid-sixties tough garage pop with a quick dash of psych that UGLY BEAT used to rave to the roof, or at least to the saddle staples.

If you think that the AM radio '66/'67 cusp produced more than a few shards of brilliant teenage tinny transistor trackage, you'll probably like these guys even more'n me! But sheesh, that name of theirs only makes me wonder when this fanzine's gonna get back into gear...hey, I did send 'em plenty moolah for a twenny-year subscription and like, I only got two issues outta it!
Twin Peaks-WILD ONION CD-r burn (originally on Grand Jury)

Yeah this is one of those nice one-time-only spinners just like the two items mentioned directly above, but that doesn't mean that it's a turdburger or anything of that icky caliber. In fact like the above, WILD ONION is a pretty good platter although the music being made on it ain't exactly the sorta stuff that makes me wanna run out and kiss the first bow wow I see. It's for those rock et roll fans who like the post-eighties revival garage/six-oh style around the time it began shedding its seventies punk underground feel for something a li'l more sleek. Not bad really with a tad of Beatles here, Stones there and even some Sparks and Roxy Music musings scattered throughout making for one of those listening experiences that doesn't sound 2014 at all...and THANK GOODNIZ FOR THAT!!!
THE EMPTY HEARTS CD-r burn (originally on 429 Records)

An' YEAH, this is even yet another one-time-only effort from yet another retro-retro group, one who I can find little if NADA fault with even though there's some sorta strange sameness that keeps me from wanting to clasp this platter to mine boobies and lactate all over it. Good stuff for those of you who still hold on to your old UGLY BEAT 'zines with an impassioned fervor as if 1985 was still up and about, and I can't criticize 'em in any way/shape/form for the music they've laid down on this four-inch slab o' aluminum 'n plastic. And although I've "heard it all before" I don't mind hearing it again, at least for once in my strooned-out life!
John Hicks-HELLS BELLS CD-r burn (originally on Strata East)

Surprisingly fluid piano trio led by the once out and about Hicks that ain't the usual avant garde crunch I go for but so what. A bit in the free mode but closer to the late-fifties bop/avant realm using the best of both styles. The results are a whole lot more exciting'n listening to that guy Billy Joel was singin' about in "Piano Man", and if you're the kind who liked those early Sun Ra albums before he started to really reach out for interstellar strata you just might enjoy this obscure effort as well. (But knowing you readers it's like I ain't gonna bet on it!)
Various Artists-DIAMOND CARTOON BUBBLES CD-r burn (this week's Bill Shute offer upper!)

Well, """""I""""" found it a whole lot more in tune with my sense of scuzz'n I did last week's Bill Shute pick! Not only does this 'un have a coupla beer ads for you boozers out there but Dave Diamond (of PEBBLES VOLUME 3 fame!) shows up via an on-air poetry rap while the UC Trojan Marching Band blast out Free's "All Right Now" during halftime which really fits in with the autumn season we're now wallowing in up here in the Northern Hemisphere. Song poetess Erica Laine merely talks over a poesy submission rather'n sing it (as if she could!) while Dick Elliot and the Cartoon Cowboys do funny animation-style voices on the novelty winner "Ouch Ouch Ouch"!

For real har-dee-har-hars try the Two Petes with their "Bee Gees Medley" (sounds like something ya woulda heard on a CBGB audition night in 1989 right before the big hook came out'n dragged 'em off the stage) while Grasshopper's "Witch's Blood in a Sauce" is one example of modern avant garde music that doesn't make me wanna blow up the local university's "school of music"! And it's all topped off by a selection from a Telly Savalas radio interview where the famed Greek detective not only gives us a li'l background on just how he got into the singing biz but spins a track from his new platter which is bound to bring a tear to an eye of alla those old FM radio hi-fi nuts who still mourn the passing of Nelson Riddle. A real keeper you got here, Bill (as if I've thrown away anything you've sent my way, even the other CD-rs and DVD's that wouldn't play)!
In closing (and to pad this rather midge-y post out a bit), here's a rarity that's bound to curl your straighties, a rare appearance by none other than that mad magician himself Geofrey C/Krozier with the Indian Medicine Magik Show on Australian black 'n white tee-vee in 1970! Heavy Metal didgeridoo, and I do mean it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

BOOK REVIEW! SPACE DAZE by Dave Thompson (Dave Thompson books 1996, 2009)

Really, this ain't a bad book if you're interested in coagulating a li'l history regarding the birth and development of space rock, but if I didn't just tell you that there's something missing in this outerworldly tome well, this wouldn't be a BLOG TO COMM review now, would it?

For what it is, SPACE DAZE is a rather patchworky cut 'n paste that purports to be a history of that bizzaroid form of rock 'n roll music that popped out of the strange miasma known as late-sixties psychedelia we've been calling space rock. Or at least we started to call it that ever since that debut Captain Beyond LP with the 3-D cover came out. Oh yeah, there was space rock before that creeping about on the instrumental charts (who'd doubt that "Telstar" was the unheralded granddaddy of it all?), but we're talking about the more sci fi-ish-cum-fantasy musings that were birthed outta way too many readings of EC comics while West Coast rock wailed from the speakers (and don't forget the extracurricular stimulation while you're at it!). And as far as relaying that primal feeling, sound and energy goes I would say that Thompson does it hit and miss. It's all here but it just doesn't gel the way I wished it would which leads me to believe that maybe """""I""""" am the one in need of insight and inspiration. And you know how much that costs an ounce these days.

Well, at least author Thompson covers most if not all of the major bases in these 216 pages so we get nice 'n perhaps even hefty rundowns on alla our outer space favorites from Pink Floyd to Gong and quite a few points in between. Not ALL points since I did mention that the author forgot a whole load of outerworldly gems in his search for the cosmic crown (and he does at times put down some of the acts I do go for, like Sameti which doesn't exactly "bug" me but does chalk up a few pangs of negative energy), but I guess he just hadda've left some things out! Hey, it ain't like you're bound by law to cram it all into your book in the here and now, right? I mean, leave something for the 2029 update!

Thankfully the author's propeller beanie is on tight most of the time which is a relief considering the interstellar turdburger this book coulda been. Hawkwind naturally earn beaucoup pages which is totally fitting if expected, and come to think of it so do the rest of the Ladbrook Grove groovers like the Deviants and Pink Fairies even if their music wasn't exactly the same sorta space rock that I think most planet orbiters had in mind. The Floydian camp rates high as well as do the krautscapaders which really gets one drooling and hefty big huzzah freom me, and thank heavens that Thompson also seems to have the proper BLOG TO COMM taste modes firmly in gear so we're thankfully spared the Chris Welch version of seventies rock with massive heartfelt dribbles directed at the likes of Emerson Lake and Palmer and their rather erudite ilk. Gotta admit that's something that really helps this book go down smoothly especially since you just happened to pick up that latest ROLLING STONE your hippie sis left onna counter and you just gotta cleanse your system with something!

SPACE ROCK does have the tendency to jump around from one subject and chapter to another with nothing but the barest thread to keep it all ever-so-slightly connected. Thus the tome begins with a hefty appreciation of the Hawkwind journey before leaping into the realm of Syd Floydism before heading into Jimi territory with such a free for all approach that I kinda get the idea that Tristan Tzara did the editing. But I guess that by the time you finish it's all just one nice juicy blur to the point where everything does seem make sense in that all encompassing cosmic way, and come to think of it that's how I usually end up feeling after spinning SPACE RITUAL in its entirety! Yes Thompson does have not only his music, but his readers down pat 100%.

As you'd expect there ain't much new information regarding these acts presented that you can't really find elsewhere so it's probably gonna come off like old hat to many of you olde tymey readers. But if you're a new tymey one this might make for a good starting place. I for one really enjoyed it as a reminder of my old musical listening days gone by and if you're the kinda blubberfarm who used to prowl the import bins wishing you could dish out the twelve bucks that those Ohr albums were going for a good thirty-five-plus years back then man, this is the book for you!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

With all of this talk about ebola and ISIS as well as other cheerful things that put a smile on our faces and a tap in our toes, maybe it's best that we talk about something totally dreadful that's happened in this world of our o'er the past seven or so earthspins. Things like the recent passing of none other than "the Madman of Rock 'n Roll" himself Paul Revere! As a skidmarking, toy-throwing  kiddiegardener-type who used to spend more'n enough time snuggled in front of the set watching WHERE THE ACTION IS, you could say that I was one guy who grew up with Mr. Revere as a front-and-center entertainment ICON, and yeah, I will admit that finding out the guy has finally met General Washington in the Great Beyond is enough to once again remind me of my own mortality, at least to the point where perhaps I'd better skip on the second helping of Eggplant Paramecium during dinnertime lest I blow up into an even bigger blubberfarm that I'm struggling not to be.

And frankly who can forget that Revere was, along with the Wailers and a few thousand other groups, part of the infamous "Northwest Scene" during the first rock 'n roll strata which was content on cranking out hard-edged r&b-influenced garage band rock while the national charts seemed to reflect a more civilized approach to teenage suburban slob living. Those early Revere records continue to stand the ol' test, and even though I am going out on a limb to say this I'm sure that only the most rabid of Mark Shipper haters out there would dare think that those Raiders platters from the mid-sixties (and on) were nothing but teenybopper trash when they sure sound fresh and exciting even after the umpteenth spin of "Him or Me". Yeah I know that the Raiders did tend to have their own soft side that was custom made for the pimply plumperoo gal in her nightgown with Mark Lindsey snaps clipped from 16 magazine pasted all over the walls, but they were still tuff enuff for the he-boys who really dug such hotcha anthems as "Steppin' Out" and "Kicks"! And hey, you could say that if there wasn't a Paul Revere and the Raiders there wouldn't have been an MC5 or Flamin' Groovies because the influences are certainly wallowing around in there...

Yeah, mebbee I could mention alla the distasteful stuff I've heard regarding the Man of the Hour such as the story about how Revere was gonna back out on meeting a terminally ill gal and 16 editor Gloria Stavers was gonna expose his real last name (which was "Dick"!) if he did! Not forgetting those behind-the-scenes rumors regarding the animosity between Revere and the various other Raiders and how he wouldn't let them smoke pot lest they ruin the group's youth appeal image!!! I'm sure there are a few things other things that you more on-the-ball readers would be able to fill me in on as well, and if so like, what's keeping ya! (And howzbout those interviews with various ex-Raiders conducted by Jeff Jarema that were supposed to reveal some mighty distasteful things that were going on in the Raiders camp...things that made the Zombies look tame in comparison!) But since the guy is no longer with us and can't defend himself from such perhaps truer than a few of you'll ever admit charges I'll leave such muckraking to a better time, like when he's ruminated enough in the afterlife and such disturbing anecdotes can finally be brought to light in that grand old kick 'em while they're decayed tradition.

But until those creepy days arrive here's to you Paul, and frankly I'm still stymied over that one WHERE THE ACTION IS skit where you guys were acting out a shoe store pantomime to some song whose title I now forget, and while trying to pull off a shoe I believe you took off Phil Volk's entire leg with it! For quite a long time I actually thought Phil lost his leg in the deal, being such a trouper to the cause that he'd actually sacrifice his limb in the name of afternoon teenage tee-vee entertainment!
Just when you thought all hope was lost and live was not worth farting in, here comes something that really makes you glad that you're alive and kicking and not just another zomboid roaming the streets of this gollyforsaken world! You all know how much of a boffo fanzine that THE NEXT BIG THING was, what with Lindsay Hutton's top notch articles on alla those great late-seventies acts that we hadda wait a good year for when they hit the cut out bins??? Well, now some of those early issues (which would cost mucho bucks if we were to win 'em via an ebay auction) are now available via the NBT site for the price of a few sheets of paper and a computer that happens to work better'n the one I'm typing this mess out on! Yes, Mr. Hutton has it in his heart to present those early and much sought after NBT's for you fanablas who missed out the first time around, and really it is a blessed (or is it blasted?) thing that once again we can enjoy Hutton's early fanzine romps and relive alla 'em fuzzy warm memories of the days when such fanzines roamed the face of the earth...y'know, of picking up punk rock platters at the local music emporium thinking we were big shots ownin' those 99-cent Flamin' Groovies albums! And what's best about it is that Lindsay is NOT
charging us an arm and a leg to download these and that it's freefreeFREE!!!!, a fact that certainly is wonderful for folk like us who can't always afford such luxuries even though we've tried our darndest! Here's a big hefty hearty BLOG TO COMM huzzah to you for your public service Lindsay, and don't ever catch me saying that Scotsmen are cheap because you certainly have given us a bargain that we can't pass up on!
Haven't had any whatcha'd call "rock 'n roll dreams" as of late but a few nights ago whilst in the midst of a rather strange 'un I came up with a great, cornballus riddle that I thought was pretty funny considering that it popped into my head whilst snuggled up inna arms of Morpheus. Here it is...Q: Do you know the name of a frustrated science fiction writer? A: H. G. Willikers! Heck, I'm still laughing at that one just like the people in the dream I told it to were, and if you wanna impress your friends and family with this pearl please do so but don't forget to give credit where my subconscious mind is due.
Well, after all THAT blabber-on here are the reviews of some (if not most, if not ALL) of the platters I've been spinning this past week! Well, at least the ones I've spun when I wasn't playing my usual current favorites which just happen to be the same krautrock klassics with hefty Velvets/Stooges references in 'em since sometimes I suffer system overkill when I listen to the actual artifacts too much. Once again I must thank the likes of Bill Shute, Robert Fo'ward and Paul McGarry for sending me these tea coasters (you'll know which of these I didn't purchase on my lonesome since I mention they are "burns"), and also thanks to my employer for paying me so I could snatch up the rest of these time wasters! Maybe there's something in this batch that'll tickle your fancy (if I were writing about a Gallic act would that mean they would "French tickle your fancy???") but then again do any of you really care? (Frankly I should say not!)

The Jimmy Giuffre 3&4-NEW YORK CONCERTS 2-CD set (Elemental Music)

Although I've pretty much enjoyed just about everything I've ever heard by this now-deceased avant jazz pioneer I gotta admit that a good portion, if not all, of what I have heard was, how shall I say, rather chamber jazz-y. Nothing wrong with that, but sometimes I'm in the mood for the wild ravings of a Roscoe Mitchell or Archie Shepp and the fifties-bred style of a Giuffre or George Russell just doesn't light my nodes in the exact same way. Now there are moments when Giuffre's drummerless trios do strike a certain chord of introspective ennui with me but frankly, I'm not the kinda guy who likes to hide under the bed ALL day and don't you just know it!

But on these mid-sixties live sets (recorded with the express purpose that they be broadcast once and forever locked up!) Giuffre shows that he's absorbed the better aspects of the entire Coltrane/Coleman wing of jazz erudition  On disque #1 Giuffre plays in a trio setting along with noted bassist Richard Davis and drummer Joe Chambers sounding a lot like the way Ornette Coleman did right around the time of his first retirement trip late-'62 way. Still rooted in the bop of the previous decade yet with that dark intense feeling that got more'n a few goatee'd pseudo-intellectual college kids' hearts a'flutter, Guiffre even does a Coleman composition ("Crossroads" which appeared under that title on the LIVE AT THE HILLCREST CLUB making me wonder where Guiffre heard the thing since it didn't even get released until the late seventies!) so you know just how far he'd wandered from the Thundering Herd at this stage in the game!

The second 'un features Guiffre in quartet setting from a few months earlier with Chambers still on the drums, but with bassist Barre Phillips and Don Friedman on piano. Another boffo set even though Friedman's playing is more or less copasetic and doesn't really add to the performance and Phillips still seems to be feeling himself out on his gear, or am I being presumptuous as usual? Still, more of the original new thing as is was being unraveled before our very ears, and not-so-surprisingly both platters show a tension and dare-I-say "maturity" that I really haven't heard in many of the new players of the old form these past two decades or so.

By the way, this month marks the fiftieth anniversary of the legendary "October Revolution in Jazz" and if you wanna celebrate it the way any proper BLOG TO COMM fan and follower would, howzbout sneaking some Giuffre in with your Cecil Taylor and Albert Ayler? Wouldn't hurt, y'know?
Bogs Visionary Orchestra-RECESSION SPECIAL CD-r (CD Baby)

Have you ever wondered what hold in the wall the new generation of Holy Modal Rounders-styled urban folk groups were hidin' their little butterbuns in? Well look no further, for outside of the infamous Muscular Christians there's also Bogs Visionary Orchestra to contend with. Not since the early days of the Rounders have such brill downhome lower east side sounds been set forth complete with mandolin, accordion and a singer who might look a bit like John Cale but sounds as if he just walked off Walton's Mountain after giving John Boy a good kick in the 'nads. Nothing that makes me wanna scream hosannas of huzzah like HAVE MOICY! does, but a good country folk thumper and I'll bet that even their other releases are worth a spin or two if you have the moolah and are so inclined. (Ten points docked for the political number regarding the "First Amendment" as if the likes of Bog ever cared for it pertaining to anybody but themselves, or so I get the idea!)
Allah Las-WORSHIP THE SUN CD-r burn (originally on Innovative Leisure)

Another relative new-ish underground pop act that's more or less the latest in a long line of white rock groups that are continuing a lineage of new wave precociousness begun by Talking Heads. Actually they're pretty nice and pleasant with some good songcraft to their name, but as usual there's nothing here that grips me the way a whole slew of 1964-1981 vintage rock (of an underground and mainstream variety) does. If you are one who still pines away for the days of the Paisley Underground and those early issues of BUCKETFULL OF BRAINS (actually an all time wowzer) you'll enjoy this but for!
Sun Ra and his Arkestra-IN THE ORBIT OF RA 2-CD-r burn  (originally on Strut, Germany)

Longtime Ra-man Marshall Allen slapped this double set consisting of old and newies together, and as far as it being any what-cha'd-call "representative" slice of the Ra pie goes it does itself rather well. Nothing of the extremely outer-worldly here, but IN THE ORBIT does have that nice straight lilt to it that reminds me of the Arkestra at their late-fifties/early-sixties Big Bandiest clinking plenty of percussion along with the rest of all that exotica, at least enough to give Les Baxter a bad case of the hemorrhoids. Some familiar faves you've probably heard for years on end are here true, but so are some different takes, different renditions and even a couple all-newies to your ear so quit complaining like you're still five years old and you didn't get your Maypo!
The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils-THE LOST ALBUM; LIVE FROM NEW YORK CD-rs (Rear Window, available via CD Baby)

Always on the lookout for a good outta-the-way discovery, I first became intrigued with the Hoodoos after reading a review of a live Max's gig that was reported in the pages of NIX ON PIX (of all places!), a fanzine that hit the same masterful heights of TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE and CRETINOUS CONTENTIONS as far as crafty satire went even though you'll probably never read a word of any of those rags no matter how long you live. That writeup made these neo-Dixieites come off like one of the better bunches to approach older forms of music with an early-seventies rock approach in gear, and although I wasn't expecting their takes on fifties classics updated for seventies tastes to be as perfecto as ELECTRIC WARRIOR's were well, they seemed a good enough gamble, and who woulda thunk that any of their material would still be available even this late inna game!?!?!

But it is, and being the adventurous sorta stroon that I am I decided to scarf these two available platters (there's also a "best of") that CD Baby has put up for sale. And y'know what? They really ain't my type of rockist thrills being too much on the seventies heavy side for me (using "heavy" as a pejorative as in hippoid tokes 'n smokes 'stead of punkoid needles 'n Burroughs)  to enjoy, especially whilst in the throes of seventies innovation and on the hunt for the long-forgotten hard rock grail. The Hoodoos do sound typical of what many a seventies outta nowhere band coulda cooked up true, and while they ain't offensive and in fact rather listenable at times it's that...uh, one singer with the gruff overdrive voice who makes me think he's gonna be singin' "I'm gonna get me a woman!" that drags this down quite a bit!

THE LOST ALBUM features mostly if not allly covers of fifties faves, and while it thankfully doesn't insult the memory of alla 'em original hits with their primitive poundouts and puerile production it does have way too much seventies hippoid overload not that dissimilar to what alla those Dead-like biker bands were doing around the same time. Nothing wrong with that (I think), and I frankly can take listening to this in small doses. But it's like eating a tub of yogurt when your heart's all set on a nice juicy cheeseburger, and as Patrick Analream can tell you my heart is set on cheeseburger rock rather'n yogurt and in case you're interested you can eat all of the rectums your heart so desires Pat dear!

The live 'un was actually recorded at the studios of WLIR-FM in Hampstead Long Island, and considering how the same station also used to air similar sessions by the likes of everyone from Lou Reed to Big Star I get the feeling that these broadcasts were intended to hype upcoming gigs at various local hotspots such as the Academy of Music or Max's for that matter. In all it's a nice showcase for the group to stretch out and have fun while hyping some upcoming show, but still the performance can tend to be a li'l too straight-ahead commercial for a guy like me who really goes for something a li'l more'n the same old in my sounds. Again this is not too bad, but I find the usual seventies good timey styles to be rather trite in the wake of what else was happening in rockist circles around the very same time!

(The Dr. Pepper commercials that appear seem to be the highlight of the set, reminding me of the days when that hallowed soft drink was constantly vying for the youth market what with its advertising on AMERICAN BANDSTAND for years on end. Pick up a few bottles and down it while listening to the Devils do their fifties re-dos and who knows, it might all actually sound better!)
Lauren Agnelli-LOVE ALWAYS FOLLOWS ME CD (Bongo Beat Canada, also available via CD Baby)

Onetime Trixie A. Balm (former Nervus Rex/Washington Square) does the chanson d'amore schtick really good on this platter which has the former rock "writer" (NOT "critic") doing the e-z listening soft piano and martoonies act pretty convincingly. For her old-time fans she throws in an acoustic guitar an electro-wave number at the end, but otherwise this is the kinda stuff you used to hear in those lounge scenes on fifties tee-vee private eye shows back when smoking and drinking weren't nary the evil habits they tend to be now (translation: "kids, it's OK to JACK OFF!") And you know what, Agnelli does a very convincing job of it even if your Unca Louie's still gonna think she's another hippie fake out to make fun of his generation. Knocked a WHOLE LOTTA POINTS for featuring a back cover blurb by ANGELA'S ASHES author Frank McCourt, perhaps the worst person to sully the Irish People and her Common Core Values since Ian Paisley if not that ever-lovin' blockhead Oliver Cromwell (I think Sinead O'Connor, the Virgin Prunes and Bono fit in here somewhere as well)!
Various Artists-DONNA MARIE ROSEMARY RAINBOW CD-r burn (courtesy Bill Shute)

Nothing but early-sixties schmoozers here, most of which remind me of not only the importance of tee-vee during those days but the frightening fact that maybe those rock snobs who think the sixties began with the Beatles mighta been right after all. Actually it ain't all girly-girl cutesy-pie sounds here since some of this coulda fit into a 1978 Jonathan Richman show with mucho ease, but a whole lotta the mewl is standard kiddoid gunch that Frank Zappa used to make fun of as if he was so above it all. And after hearing some of these numbers, maybe he was! Does earn a hefty bonus point for including a side by the Treytones (of BACK FROM THE GRAVE fame) who were from Warren Ohio and sure did a wild Bo Diddley beat on their '63 vintage "Nonymous"! Unfortunately "Blind Date" ain't that tip top but at least we've got some home pride here, I guess.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

MOOM PITCHER SERIAL REVIEW! JUNIOR G-MEN starring Billy Halop and Huntz Hall (Universal, 1940)

Many if not most fans 'n followers of the EAST SIDE KIDS/BOWERY BOYS family o' films really give these DEAD END KIDS AND LITTLE TOUGH GUYS series at Universal the razz, but I'm one fanabla who will go on record as disagreeing with the throngs of experts. And disagreeing with them MIGHTILY in fact! True, that particular series just didn't have the same slam-bang-pow as either the earlier Warner Brothers features where the likes of Leo Gorcey, Billy Halop et. al. were hobnobbing with everyone from James Cagney to Ronald Reagan, but they still had a bit of a spark that transcended the usual H-wood crankout in terms of Saturday Afternoon barbershop kid-styled entertainment. And besides, Universal was a pretty hotcha moom pitcher outlet in them days, at least until the company morphed into "Universal International" and began concentrating on features that seemed to fit in more with your mom's Saturday afternoon television viewing rather than yours, ifyaknowaddamean...

I'm sure that even the most rabid of LITTLE TOUGH GUY haters will admit that the three Universal serials featuring the Halop-manned group (as opposed to the Gorcey-led one over at Monogram) were pretty snat in themselves and mighty watchable without the more cornballus approach of most of their features. And of these serials their first, JUNIOR G-MEN just hadda've been the best. In this one the Dead End Kids first tangle with and then join forces with the Junior G-Men who are hot on the trail of the mysterious Order of the Flaming Torch (yet another dastardly and downright antisocial organization who's out to conquer the world along with a few thousand similar-minded groups out there in early-forties movie land). Y'see. Halop's, or to be more accurate about it Billy Barton's father is actually a long lost scientist who has invented a new weapon which the Flaming Torch would really like to get their tattoo'd hands on, and of course it's up to the gang along with their new allies to bring the whole world-dominating empire down before we're all speaking perfect English!

And y'know what, they actually do it in twelve whole chapters too where Billy and his friends nearly get crushed, burned, smashed and blown up every ten or so minutes only to get outta their jamz a few seconds before we all think they're cooked for sure!

Yeah so a lotta this is what-ya'd-call "unbelievable" and anyone who'd wanna team up with those rather sissified Junior G-Men types inna first place are definitely off their rockers (at least the Flaming Torch guys have that cool sense of sadism to 'em that I love so well), but as we all know yer always gonna hafta suspend with the usual set of sophisticado values and plug in your suburban slob ones when watching mooms like this! And frankly, you can't spend a better Sunday afternoon by settling down in front of the tube for this, unless there's a flea market or garage sale around the corner that's still sellin' the same things they were in 1971 (and at 1971 prices too!).

If you want to, try the above web address to be found within the pilfered poster if you so desire, or you could do a little googlin' for an even better bargain or even try downloading it from youtube if you're computer savvy enough to handle such a task! (It should be wallowing around there amidst the rest of those public domain faves we've loved to glom for years.) And for once time's not a'wastin', because ya know this stuff's gonna be around for quite a long time while the rest of Amerigan Kultur gets shoved aside like last year's embroidered butt rags. Take back Sunday your way with a viewing or two of JUNIOR G-MEN, because it's either this or that dudzy melodrama you're mother's watching at this very minute and you never were much of a Gene Tierney fan now, were you?          

Saturday, October 04, 2014

The death of one-time Youngstown Ohio congressman and eventually convicted felon James Traficant was one current event of the past week or so that, while not "affecting" me the same way the death of a close relative would, did make me take notice of a whole slew of things goin' on in my life. And those "things" include (amongst other sundries) the passage of time, my own mortality and of course the way things used to be in those days before the hippoid generation really changed whatever they got their privileged paws on, mostly for the worse. Really, when you looked at Traficant, you definitely saw the last of the sort of he-man who typified the politician back in the days before sensitivity and touchy-feelyisms began permeating the political sphere (and that, surprisingly enough, included the democrats [of which Traficant was a member] who now seem to be having a major contest to see who can out-emote each other), and at this point in time it's hard to believe that such a man existed in Washington who behaved like the former sheriff, and wasn't thought of as a male chauvinist goon by the dykes and snivelers in charge.

Nowadays it seems as if everything permeating the three branches of government here in the U.S. of Woe has become pussified beyond belief to the point where even Mister Rogers comes off as Testosterone Teddy next to the castratis you see ruling over us anymore. Sheesh, it's come to the point where if you wanna see any real strong individuals in the true change for progress in this world you have to look to Europe to find them. Heck, even Marine LePen comes off more masculine than the mewlers who clutter up the Amerigan political scene, and that lady's about as feminine as you can get especially when stacked up against anybody who has been, is on, and will be on THE VIEW.

I sure do remember back when a younger and slimmer Traficant was running for sheriff back '77 way with his full-throttle, no-holds-barred television commercials permeating every break during those evening ODD COUPLE reruns. And unlike every other Mahoning County sheriff who had come before (or after), it wasn't like you could avoid reading about the guy who was on the news every night whether it be his constant smashing up of a sheriff's cruiser by using it as a battering ram on a biker meth lab or gambling raid, or even the time he spent three nights in the slammer rather than serve eviction notices to poor folk who couldn't pay the bills. A bigger'n life guy who was the closest anyone in the area's come to Buford Pusser, and when he beat that mob bribery rap in '82 and ran for congress he only became bigger in the eyes of everyone in the tri-county area and eventually elsewhere.

Of course he made more'n a few enemies during his years in congress, and it looks as if those enemies did their best to bring him down which they most certainly did with his corruption trial which finally got him sent to the slammer. Funny, I always thought that the things Traficant got jailed for were particularly innocent and nothing that any real-life investigator would bother sticking nostrils into, and that those payoffs and gifts and favors such as the kind he got was just everyday biz in the Nation's Crapitol. I mean, I'm sure other congressmen made out like real bandits gobbling up all of the gifts that they were getting so they'd vote the "right" way, and none of 'em were heading for the hoosegow like ol' Traficant. Talk about a hard lesson in politics where more connected members of government can get away with tax evasion (a good idea unless you're a politician who gleefully raises taxes) yet someone who advocates a true reaming of the soul-killing aspects of life gets raked over the coals the way Traficant did.

Good thing that I never got elected to public office, or I might be finding out more sooner 'n later whether or not I have a gag reflex! But one thing's for sure and that is you never woulda seen Traficant on his knees fellating all of the people out there in politics-land who were demanding a proper and subservient bee-jay. And I know that even when he was rotting away behind bars Traficant never doubted his innocence or would conform to the current mode of insti-felch in order to climb his way into the favors of those evil powers that be and will remain.

But in my own befuddled ranch house blob way I do mourn the guy's passing, since he was not only screwed by the same government who screws us all on a daily basis but by the people who used to rah-rah him at every turn throughout the eighties and nineties yet wouldn't re-elect the guy when he ran for his congressional seat from his prison cell. Yeah I know that, even if he did win it would have been interesting to see how he could "govern" in his new surroundings, but if he somehow was able to pull off such a brilliant stunt such a situation really would have been a huge bug uppa ass for alla his enemies at THE YOUNGSTOWN VINDICATOR (typical snobbish anti-peon paper that deserves to die a quick death along with most if not every other fishwrap out there in "journalism" land) and elsewhere on the spectrum.

Oddly enough, the best send-off I've read regarding the guy ironically was on the paleocon/libertarian TAKI'S MAGAZINE site, which I will say  reminds me of one final thing regarding Traficant that maybe I should 'fess up to after all these years...before he went to prison I always thought that his hair was for real! Hey, if he WAS wearing a toupee, wouldn't ya thunk it woulda looked a whole lot more lifelike than the flop he had planted upon his scalp for a longer time'n any of us could have imagined?????
Well, here it is more or less, writeups of most if not all of the new 'n fresh to my not-so-virgin ears recordings that have made their way to my laser launching pad these past two weeks. Nothing spectacular true (talking about my reviews, not my selections) but I think it'll do given the amt. of emotional wringing out I've been receiving as of late...don't wanna crybaby about it, but I kinda think yer lucky to get the following stew if anything! But I won't bore you with this, though I will bore you by giving hefty thanks to the likes of P.D. Fadensonnen and Bill Shute for their help in making this week's entry more'n just a review of the Brotzmann/Sharrock CD, the only entry born of my hard-earned and nothing but this go 'round!

As soon as I get some scratch together and there's a tide of hotcha recordings being made available maybe you WILL be reading something more substantial, but I kinda doubt those days'll be coming back any time soon. After all, money is becoming a rather scarce commodity these days and it ain't like I can bop-a-dee-bop down to the local record store to pick up a rockin' wowzer the way I could have thirty-five or more years back! In fact there ain't any more record shops to prowl through like there were during my major vinyl scarfing days! Until the situation makes itself better on both monetary and musical fronts (and I say "HAH!" to both) it's gonna be jumping on every new release that even remotely looks as if it's gonna continue on the high energy exemplified by the 1974-1981 rock seasons, as well as comb the internet for downloads and whatnot featuring acts that may be deserving of a spin or two (oddly enough, youtube is a source for items you never thought you'd get your filthy little paws on!). I know...cut the shit and get to the reviews so as the Who once said, here 'tis...

Can-POITIERS FRANCE 1 & 2 CD-r burns burns (courtesy P. D. Fadensonnen)

Here's Can right about the time they were beginning to slink into the same doldrums of esoteric whooziz that affected a good portion of the same krautrock bands who were slowly but surely going from garage band to slick commercialism. Dunno who this "guest vocalist" Thaiga Raj Raja Ratnam is, but he does a pretty good job contributing to the group's already flippoid demeanor sounding almost as good as Damo Suzuki or even Magic Michael. The Can-sters themselves come off as typically improv/technical as they had been throughout the mid-seventies doing a whole load of material from the more recent platters as well as a version of "Mother Sky" that, while losing some of the intensity of the Suzuki-period live version, still manages to emit a bit of the same crunch that had people like Hot Scott Fischer telling Lester Bangs that Can were even better than the Stooges! If you're a newbie to the seventies krautscapading scene or were in on it from the John Peel get go, this is a good 'un for you to locate via the World Wide Web and download for your very own drug-induced stupor.
Mama Dada 1919-SLITS, QUICK CD-r burn (originally on the Out Music Company label)

When I first saw an ad for this rarity in the pages of CLE #3-A I must say that I was interested. Not enough to send away for this self-produced rarity though, and all of these years later it wasn't like the lack of hearing this was chewing away at me like a fox on his leg trying to get out of a hunter's trap. But thanks to P. D. Fadensonnen I finally get to experience this late-seventies weirditie and hey, while I'm not oh-golly-gee knocked out by it I do find the effort rather entertaining. Humorous even.

This is the sorta stuff that had neophytes mimbling "ZAPPA!" for years on end but I hear more of an Italian futurist influence with a tad bit of LAFMS and indecipherable obscure European art rock thrown in. A fine piece of DIY noisegrating even if admitting to liking such art project musings is bound to get me kicked outta the Rough and Tumble Rockism Society faster than you can say "Nick Tosches".
Peter Brotzmann/Sonny Sharrock-WHATTHEFUCKDOYOUWANT CD (Trost Austria, available via Forced Exposure)

This is the second Sharrock/Brotzmann live duo collaboration that's been released to the genital public (click here for my review of the other one), and as you would have expected  me to say after reading XXX years of my dribble this is a mighty good piece of recorded soundscapading that's goin' up 'n about like hardly anything before or since! Like on the pair's earlier FRAGMENTS the sax and guitar fare purty darn well even w/o the added dissonance and blues of Ronald Shannon Jackson and Bill Laswell, and the playing is just as free as you woulda expected what with Sharrock playing some tasty atonal if downright rock-y guitar lines while Brotzmann creates mighty chasms of solid growl with his array of horns. Both players go to show you just how far and out music coulda gotten, especially at a time when I thought everything decent and powerful about the past thirty or so years of innovation was going down the infamous memory hole that gobbled up more'n a few faves.

And hey, spinning this in conjunction with the Brotzmann/Laswell LOW LIFE album might be the most ingenious musical stunt since Imants Krumins and the folk in Simply Saucer partied while METAL MACHINE MUSIC and surf music careened from two separate turntables simultaneously! Have yourself a multi-Cee-Dee player party with both platters'n don't complain to me when you get evicted!
Fossils-WOOLY BULLY CD (Kendra Steiner Editions)

Boy am I disappointed. Here I thought the infamous (in my mind) avant-noise-scrunch group Fossils was gonna do the Sam the Sham chestnut but all this is is more of that electronic free splat music concrete like they did their last time out! Actually I find it quite mesmerizing---hard-scronk grating, the way I like it. True this ain't no garage band classic but that doesn't mean that you're gonna wanna treat it with the same disrespect you do Grace Slick's MANHOLE! Definitely worth the effort to locate, and if you hurry maybe there will be a copy left for you (supplies are limited, as they say on tee-vee).
Massimo Magee, Tim Green, Max Fowler-Roy-RELENTLESS COMMUNION CD (Kendra Steiner Editions}

The other newie from KSE, this time featuring the return of modern-day horn maestro Massimo Magee leading a hotcha bass and drums through a set that highly recalls the late-seventies En Why Loft Scene in its attempt to stretch free play boundaries even more'n my sagged-out gut. Magee recalls Arthur Doyle in his ability to distort the familiar saxophone sound into areas that woulda gotten his knuckles slapped only a few years earlier, while the bass of Max Fowler-Roy plucks away in perfect steadiness while drummer Tim Green does his durndest to get over the impression that he's actually Sunny Murray failing miserable at the task. And you thought they didn't make jass recordings like this anymore now, did you!
Doug Hammond-SPACES CD-r burn (originally on DTW, Japan)

An interesting rarity from a guy who didn't get as much of the needed blab as many of his caliber (and less) managed over the years. Recorded way back in '82 when it seemed as if the second generation of free play was dying down, Hammond leads a particularly copasetic group (including the long-gone and much-missed Byard Lancaster) through some new thing that ain't Roscoe Mitchell-esque're anything but still firmly rooted in the mid-sixties free sense. In some ways this recalls Ornette right after he took his first sabbatical, though you may beg to differ. Too bad this wowzer got lost in the shuffle of many a bowtie 'n tux-friendly platter because like, this one does tend to inspire even lumpen suburban slobs such as myself on many a plane, intellectual or not.
Gabe Williams-YOU'RE THE CREAM IN MY COFFEE CD-r burn (originally on Part Pool Records)

Dunno exactly what was creeping through Bill Shute's mind when he burned this durty comedy record for me...didn't know that the long-time BLOG TO COMM camp follower had a "salty" side to him but obviously he does! Judging from the gags presented on this 'un Williams was more or less a second-string Redd Foxx type spewin' out the X-rated humor that reminds me of a whole lotta the vulgarities being spewed on Sirius Radio even as we speak. Only this guy at least attempts to be funny which I don't think counts that much in the humor biz these days. And y'know what, he actually succeeds some of the time unlike the so-called laugh masters you come in contact with via the radio or tee-vee in this day and age! A good 'un to play for the little ones when you're too embarrassed to discuss those delicate matters with them.
Rudimentary Peni-DEATH CHURCH CD-r burn (originally on Corpus Christi Records, England)

When it comes to these early-eighties British anarcho-punk bands it's always choose wisely, and considering the large number of doo-doo that particular scene had produced you better choose wisely lest you lose a good portion of your hard-begged cash on some warmed-over hippie mewl. One platter you might be wise to choose however is this debut elpee from noted Crassmates Rudimentary Peni, who might deliver on the usual anti rant as the rest of the unwashed did, but at least solidified their rage in a hard wall of sheer gnarl that goes beyond the usual faux-hippie love drivel these groups coulda been known for. Hard and at times Lmo-esque heavy metallic thud ("Psycho Squat" does come way too close to "Flying Saucers 88" for comfort!) that I'm sure was one of the first bridges twixt the h-core and hairboy styles of the early-eighties, and if your local boxboy could like it why shouldn't you???
Various Artists-GODFATHER CATWALK TEARDROP INVITATION CD-r burn (courtesy of Bill Shute)

Well, I did find this one...spryer than the last Shute sampler. Yeah it's got a few outright misfires (I mean, the theme from THE GODFATHER?????) but quite a few goodies do pop up including both sides of the infamous pre-solo Warren Zevon Lyme and Cybelle single on White Whale, Kali Bahlu's "Lonely Teardrops" (which ain't the Jackie Wilson song that's for sure!) while George Loa and Maui Loa do their best to summon the spirit of the great god Ooh-Ooh-Ninny-Poo. The Great New Guitar Sounds ain't that new since all they're doing is rehashing Link Wray's classic "Rumble", and it sure is good to finally get to hear Dyke and the Blazers even though I am totally startled to find out that Dyke is a guy! It all closes out with a comedy album by the very same Alen Robin of LBJ RANCH fame who does this psychiatrist schtick using the pre-recorded voices of various political figures to mildly amusing effect. It ain't anything that's gonna make you chuckle or gasp but hey, when was the last time you laughed at a George Carlin platter?